Bloomberg for iPad
by CI Staff
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Since its introduction in April, the Apple iPad has revolutionized mobile computing. In roughly four months, developers have created thousands of "apps" customized to operate on the tablet computer. For investors, there are a number of apps to choose from for placing trades, monitoring portfolios, charting securities, or accessing financial news. One of the apps we have been using is Bloomberg for the iPad, a free app offering financial news, quotes, and charts.
When you open the Bloomberg for iPad app, the front page is broken into four parts-a top news section, performance data for major equity indexes for the most recent trading day, a "My Stocks" tab, and a summary of exchange rates against the U.S. dollar. At the bottom of the app window there are also eight links to different information segments: news, equity indices, My Stocks, currencies, commodities, equity index futures, bonds, and podcasts.
The news section provides some of the most comprehensive investment news I have found anywhere. There are seven pages in all covering over 30 different news categories. These include most-read, stocks, funds, emerging markets, and a variety of international markets. If you want, you can reorder how these categories appear on the pages. For each news story, you can adjust the font size for easier viewing as well as e-mail the entire text of an article.
The Equity Indices section covers a long list of indexes from around the globe. There are indexes from the Americas, Europe/Middle East/Africa, and Asia/Pacific. For each index on the list, you can see the latest value, the percentage and point change for the latest trading session, and the local time of the index.
If you tap a given index, you can view more detailed trading statistics for the latest trading session and for the last 52 weeks. There are also several charts; by default the one-year chart is most prominent on the page, but you can also select one-day, one-month, and six-month charts.
The Industries sub-tab of the Equity Indices page also lists any sector/industry indexes that may exist for the primary index. For example, if you select Industries for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, you are given the other Dow Jones sector indexes for the Dow Jones 30 constituents. There is a chart showing the weight each industry carries in the overall index and the percentage change of each industry index for the latest trading day. Tapping on any of the sector indexes then shows you the indexes for the narrower industry classifications that make up the broader sector.
The "My Stocks" section allows you to create a watchlist of stocks or mutual funds or enter in the holdings of your portfolio to track the value and profit/loss. The listings are color coded so you can immediately see which holdings are up or down for the current trading session. Tapping on an individual stock or fund will take you to a summary page, with current trading day and 52-week statistics, a brief description of the company or fund, and charts ranging from one day (for stocks only) to one year.
The Podcasts area has a wealth of audio files from Bloomberg analysts and columnists covering current market news, economics, and politics. All of these podcasts are available for free. You can download them to your iPad and listen to them at your leisure.
For those of you who have an iPod touch or iPhone, there is also a free Bloomberg app for those devices as well and it is also available through the Apple App Store.